I was just recently forced to resign as the Sr Pastor of a church. I was approached by the District Council of my denomination and was informed that I was unable to pastor the "mature Christians" in the church but they told me that I pastor the people in the community and the people that have been brought into the church wonderfully. There is also a group of people that have been in the church that I pastor well and it is only a small percentage of the church that they say I don't pastor well. I was not able to face my accusers, I was found guilty and never given the chance to be found innocent, I never got to face my accusers, I was never pre-warned or given any corrective action or probation period to become a better pastor I was just told you are done as of today Dont know what Ive done
Criminal Defense Attorney
Your rights to due process, confront your accusers, and be innocent until proven guilty are rights you have in a criminal proceeding when you are accused of a crime by the government. These rights do not govern your interactions between other citizens, or between yourself and the church council. You may have rights with respect to any discharge proceedings, but they are not necessarily the ones you mention. You should contact an employment lawyer to discuss your case.
General Practice Lawyer
You likely have little-to-no legal recourse against your church for your recent termination as Sr. Pastor. Because your employment as St. Pastor assumedly was not of the secular realm, any causes of action you might otherwise have had are likely barred by the ministerial exception. In other words, if your termination was the result of some sort of unlawful discrimination, e.g., because of age or race, you can not go after your employer because, as the Supreme Court recently held, "Religion clauses bar the government from interfering with the decision of a religious group to fire one of its ministers."
Of course more facts are needed about your situation. And, to be sure, it is always a good idea to consult with an attorney about your situation. You should speak with an employment attorney.
Adam W. Klotz
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